At heart a "romancer" of the medieval variety, Helprin here delivers with panache a difficult, larger-than-life, great-hearted quest novel. His trademark penchants for oddball humor and tall-tale adventuring are tightly focused, and perhaps in no other novel does his unabashed devotion to the Ideal and to Beauty shine with more intensity. Finishing this novel, I was troubled by Helprin's delicate, surgical prick to the heart (and, yes, I knew it was coming). But at the same time, for some hours I floated a few inches above the ground, buoyed by the aesthetic generosity, the irrepressible vision of this novel, the banquet of its gifts.
Two teenagers with cystic fibrosis: they have a long list of DON'Ts but very few DOs. Stella sticks to her schedules and pins hope on a lung transplant. Will is ready to be 18, free of hospitals and his mother's race for a cure. An endearing and honest story of two teenagers learning there's more to living than simply surviving.